Step 1: Recall and Record Your Dream
- Place a voice recorder or notepad and pen within easy reach of your bed.
- When you begin to feel yourself drifting off to sleep, repeat aloud three times: “I will remember my dreams clearly and well, and will record them when I wake up.”
- When you awaken, whether in the morning or the middle of the night, quickly record whatever you can recall from your dream.
- Be very literal. Jot down the first images and feelings that come to your mind without judging or analyzing, Whatever comes to your mind, just note it and let it be.
Step 2: Give Your Dream a Title
- Familiarize yourself with titling by paying attention to newspaper headlines and magazine story titles.
- Let the title be the first word or phrase that comes to mind.
- If you have trouble, try saying aloud a very basic summary of the dream’s content to help identify its central themes.
- Repeat your title aloud, slowly, and think about what the word or phrase means or suggests to you generally.
- Set the dream and its title aside.
Step 3: Read or Repeat Your Dream Aloud – Slowly
- Repeat or reread your dream aloud.
- Speak slowly, keeping in mind that the dreamer is always dreaming about the dreamer.
- Verbalize your thoughts and feelings yourself, so that your brain fully absorbs the information. Don’t let others do it for you.
Step 4: Consider What Is Uppermost in Your Life Right Now
- Quickly review the title and/or summary of the dream with which you are working.
- Assess what is uppermost in your life right now, looking carefully at your work, your family, your relationships, etc.
- Be instinctive. Whatever first comes to your mind is most likely what your dream addresses.
Step 5: Describe Your Dream as if Talking to a Martian
- Consider which details stand out the most in your dream.
- Describe those details as if talking to a Martian, or someone with absolutely no shared frame of reference.
- Belabor the obvious. If something seems to go without saying, say it anyway. Explaining the obvious aloud offers clues to a dream’s meaning.
- Think about symbols that commonly occur in your dreams and familiarize yourself with their meaning and intent. This helps you to interpret dreams more quickly and easily as you move forward.
Step 6: Summarize the Message from Your Unconscious
- Reflect on the work you have done in steps 1 thought 5.
- Try to summarize your dream’s content in one or two clear messages from the unconscious.
- Remember your interpretation simple, grounded in common sense, and relevant to your current, waking life.
- Honor your work. Though it may initially be challenging, step 6 prepares you to understand the dream’s guidance.
Step 7: Consider Your Dream’s Guidance for Waking Life
- Repeat aloud the message you summarized in step 6.
- Consider the symbolic solutions offered in the dream.
- Translate the symbolic advice into commonsense guidance related to current situations in your waking life.
- If the dream does not seem to offer solutions, consider what steps you can take to address the issues raised in the dream.
- Consider one or two tangible actions you can take in response to the dream’s guidance.
- Honor your baby steps.
For more detail and guidance, look to Dr. Cohen’s new book Dreaming on Both Sides of the Brain: Discover the Secret Language of the Night.
For more personal guidance, email Dr. Cohen at firstname.lastname@example.org for a private Reading.